Author Archives: churchc

WATCH: Chemistry has never looked so good

ScienceAlert Australia Bec Crew 25 August 2014

Created as part of a collaboration between the Institute of Advanced Technology at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and Tsinghua University Press, this video is a taste of things to come in an upcoming project known simply as Beautiful Chemistry. While the team has so far given out very little information about their project, other than this video and a follow-up posted below, all will no doubt be revealed next month when it’s scheduled to launch.

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Researchers identify tests to diagnose invasive aspergillosis with 100 percent accuracy

(Elsevier Health Sciences 13 August 2014) The fungal infection invasive aspergillosis can be life threatening, especially in patients whose immune systems are weakened by chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs. Despite the critical need for early detection, IA remains difficult to diagnose. A study in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics compared three diagnostic tests and found that the combination of nucleic acid sequence-based amplification and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction detects aspergillosis with 100% accuracy.

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Key to universal flu vaccine: Embrace the unfamiliar

(Emory Health Sciences 25 August 2014) Human volunteers immunized against the avian flu virus H5N1 readily developed antibodies against the stem region of the viral hemagglutinin protein. In contrast, those immunized with standard seasonal trivalent vaccines did not, instead developing most of their antibodies against the more variable head region.

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Experimental chikungunya vaccine induces robust antibody response

(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 14 August 2014) An experimental vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne viral illness chikungunya elicited neutralizing antibodies in all 25 adult volunteers who participated in a recent early-stage clinical trial conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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UMN and NYBC research finds potential MERS transmission mechanism between bats and humans

(University of Minnesota Academic Health Center 12 August 2014) Researchers have identified the mechanism used by the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus to transmit from bats to humans. Bats are a native reservoir for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the finding could be critical for understanding the animal origins of the virus, as well as preventing and controlling the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and related viruses in humans.

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Revolutionary handheld DNA diagnostic unit allows lab-quality analysis in the field

(University of Otago 25 August 2014) A revolutionary handheld and battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at New Zealand’s University of Otago is poised to become a commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected viruses or bacteria in samples while also determining the level of infection. It  also has many other potential uses, such as border security, forensics or environmental monitoring.

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Is MSG bad for you? Debunking a long-running food myth (video)

(American Chemical Society 25 August 2014) Few ingredients come with as much baggage as monosodium glutamate. More commonly known as MSG, the compound has had a bad reputation for nearly 50 years, so we at Reactions felt it was time to clear its name. In this week’s video, we debunk MSG myths and explain why the scientific consensus is that this flavor enhancer, known for its savory umami flavor, is perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.

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